How a Will is Authenticated and Validated Through Probate

When a person dies, a court holds a probate hearing to determine the validity of the deceased’s last will and testament. Beginning with this hearing, and throughout the entire executor process, the family is well advised to hire a Palm Springs probate attorney.

What Happens if a Will is Not Validated?

If the probate court cannot validate the deceased’s last will and testament, the court will rule that the deceased died intestate. In other words, it will be as though he or she died without a will at all. When a person dies without a valid will, rules of inheritance follow statutory guidelines established by state law. In other words, the wishes of the government, rather than those of the deceased, will determine what happens to the decedent’s estate.

How a Probate Lawyer Helps Authenticate a Will

A probate lawyer can assist the family with the intricacies of the will authentication process. Authenticating a will is a critical step in having the will recognized as valid. Once authenticated, the last will and testament of the deceased person will name an executor. The person the decedent wants to be responsible for settling the affairs of his or her estate. After being named, the executor must do settle the estate in a timely manner.

What Happens During the Executor Phase?

The probate lawyer can also be of assistance during this executor phase. Executing a will is a complicated and delicate procedure and can take several years. During this period, it is easy for an executor to make an honest mistake that nevertheless carries disastrous consequences. Throughout this phase, the executor should consider consulting skilled Palm Springs trust and estate lawyers who can provide advice on executor decisions. In addition to ensuring an expeditious executor period for the estate, a probate lawyer can help the executor mitigate or avoid any potential personal liability.